Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Toward a Theology of the Body

Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Toward a Theology of the Body

Article excerpt

Toward a Theology of the Body. By Mary Timothy Prokes. Edinburgh, UK: T & T Clark, 1996. xv + 192 pp. $21.00 (paper).

Toward a Theology of the Body introduces this emerging line of theological inquiry through a historical overview of Christian ambivalence regarding the body, a constructive argument regarding the meaning of embodiment, and reflection on the bodily meaning of suffering, work, prayer, death and resurrection. According to Prokes, the "meaning of human existence is the vocation to become an embodied self-gift in image of the relational inner life of the Trinity" (p. xii). In order to advance this claim she employs scientific findings, Scripture, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and magesterial writings, including the work on body theology done by Pope John Paul II. The book provides a helpful introduction to readers who seek to understand official Catholic teaching on sexuality. Moreover, its accessible style and cultural commentary make it a good teaching device or suitable for parish discussion groups.

Prokes is an adamant moral realist; she presupposes that some moral values are objective and universal. While much contemporary literature on the body denies that anything universal can be predicated of human beings, Prokes argues that "the truths of persons and things are not determined by us individually: rather, by being open to the depths of their self-manifestation, we are able to act in accord with their reality" (p. 42). She thereby weds a form of natural law reasoning to an understanding of embodiment as symbolic. The person posits her body-self in actions and relations; these ought to be appropriate to her state in life and faithfully manifest her vocation. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.